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Mindset and Your Immune System: What is the Significant Connection?

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I am sure I am not alone in saying that I could really go for some ‘precedented times’ about now.

The world continues to shift as we try to maintain stable relationships, stay on top of our career and, dare I say, try to make plans for a little fun?

Stress, in its various forms, can really get the best of us.

Physical, psychological, and chemical stressors activate our HPA Axis (hypothalamic – pituitary – adrenal). This leads to a surge in the output of adrenal hormones, including cortisol, norepinephrine, and epinephrine, putting our body in a sympathetic (fight or flight) state. Other hormones like prolactin and ACTH also go up in response to such stress, while some other hormones, including growth hormone, thyroid hormone, testosterone and melatonin, typically decrease.

The cells which make up our immune system have receptors for these various hormones that then send pro-inflammatory cytokines (chemical messages from immune cells) in our bloodstream.

In an acute or short-term situation, this response is protective. However, the all too common prolonged stress response leads to a decreased ability for your body to fight infection. For example, studies on medical students, caregivers and subjects with mild depression show weakened ability to fight off infection, making them more susceptible to cold and flu.

Be aware of the things you can control vs those you cannot.

There are a lot of reasons to be stressed out, but now more than ever we must consider our health.

Having a strong immune system and healthy metabolic function has always been the best way to prevent severe illness when confronted with a pathogen.

Ways to cope with stress that have stood the test of time

  1. Take a break from news and social media.
    • Modern life has many channels assaulting you, and still only one of you to process it all.
  2. Get outside, barefoot, in the sun (aka Earthing or Grounding).
    • Connect to earth’s natural electric charge, which decreases inflammation and improves balance of the autonomic nervous system.
  3. Talk and laugh with a friend or family member.
    • Laughter and connection are some of the best medicine.
  4. Practice meditation and deep breathing.
    • Slow your breath, get centered, and gain a feeling of connection.
  5. Make exercise part of your routine.
    • Literally, work- it- out. Even just a 5-minute walk, or 5 move HIIT circuit can increase circulation, shift your mindset and improve your mood

For our favorite supplements to help encourage a healthy immune system, check out this site.

For more information on how to connect with me, another one of our practitioners or health coaches, call (480 )535-6844, Option 4 for details scheduling.

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